A flying car prototype has been awarded a certificate of airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, moving it one step closer to production.
The Aircar, designed by Nitra-based Klein Vision, has space for two passengers and is capable of reaching air speeds of more than 118mph and altitudes of more than 8000ft.
Featuring retractable wings and a large tail, it automatically transforms from a road-going vehicle into an aircraft in around two minutes and 15 seconds.
The company said it's a result of “pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage” as well as "excellent engineering and personal knowledge”.
It's driven by a BMW-built 1.6-litre petrol engine and has completed more than 200 take-off and landing manoeuvres in more than 70 hours of flight testing.
Klein Vision is also working on a more powerful prototype with a larger 300bhp engine, an estimated top speed of 186mph and a range of 621 miles.
"Aircar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars," said Stefan Klein, the vehicle’s creator. "It's official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever."
Klein Vision’s testing is in line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, and the firm said it has achieved an “astonishing static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode”.
"Fifty years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. Aircar expands those frontiers by taking us into the next dimension, where road meets sky,” said project co-founder Anton Zajac.
The Aircar completed its first inter-city flight in June last year, flying for 35 minutes between the international airports of Slovakian cities Nitra and Bratislava.
Klein Vision expects the Aircar to be able to fly from London to Paris in the near future.
The project has earned support from American aerospace giant Boeing.
“The automated transition from road vehicle into an air vehicle and vice versa, deploying/retracting wings and tail, is not only the result of pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage; it's an outcome of excellent engineering and professional knowledge,” said Branko Sarh, senior technical fellow at Klein Vision, last year.
“The Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique Aircar development from its start in 2017,” said René Molnár, director of Slovakia’s civil aviation division.
“Transportation safety is our highest priority. Aircar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards.”